2016 Quantum Physics in Optical Response of Materials

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Materials Science and Engineering
Nakamura Kazutaka 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon1-2(G111)  Thr1-2(G111)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course gives fundamentals of quantum mechanical description for interaction between light and matter. The students learn description of quantum state using state vectors, equation of motions with three pictures, harmonic oscillators, coherent states. In addition, recent research results of coherent control will be presented.

The aim of this course is to understand the light matter interaction using quantum mechanical description.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) describe photo induced process in materials by using quantum mechanics
2) understand time evolution of quantum states.


Quantum mechanics, light matter interaction, laser

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Attendance is taken in every class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 State vector Describe quantum state using a state vector.
Class 2 Physical quantities and operator Learn relation between physical quantities and operator
Class 3 Time dependent Shrodinger equation Learn the equation of motion for a quantum system.
Class 4 Time evolution operator Learn how to describe time evolution of the quantum states.
Class 5 Interaction picture Learn how to describe the time evolution of the quantum state with time-dependent interaction.
Class 6 light absorption process Learn how to describe light absoprtion process using time-dependent perturbation.
Class 7 Harmonic oscillator and shifting operator Learn how to describe the Hamiltonian of the harmonic oscillator with shifting operator.
Class 8 Time evolution of number states Learn how to describe the time evo;ution of the states of the harmonic oscillator.
Class 9 Coherent states Learn the coherent states.
Class 10 Coherent control of phonons Lean the resent research topics of coherent control of phonons.
Class 11 Density matrix Learn how to describe the system with a density matrix.
Class 12 Master equation Learn the master equation of the density matrix.
Class 13 Optical Bloch equation Learn how to describe transient process of light matter interaction with optical Bloch equation.
Class 14 Phase relaxation Lean the relaxation process of the excited state.
Class 15 Checking each understanding on this course Check each understanding on the quantum descriptin for the light matter interaction.


Refer to either of the following reference books.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

"Introductory Quantum Optics" by C.C. Gerry and P.L. Knight(Cambridge University Press, 2005) ISBN 978-0-521-52735-4
"Modern Quantum Mechnics" by J.J. Sakuraiand J.J. Napolitano (Pearson Education Limited 2014) ISBN 10:1-292-02410-0

Assessment criteria and methods

Students are evaluated whether they understand the quantum description of the light matter interaction based on the score of the test.

Related courses

  • MAT.A203 : Quantum Mechanics of Materials
  • PHY.Q435 : Quantum Information

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students are recommended to study "Quantum Physics" or "Quantum Chemistry" or related subjects in undergraduate courses.

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